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BBC's Thompson claimed for Bellagio stay
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Thumbs up BBC's Thompson claimed for Bellagio stay - 12-November-2009, 21:10

BBC's Thompson claimed for Bellagio stay

Thursday, November 12 2009, 12:06 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

BBC director general Mark Thompson claimed 647.50 on expenses for a night at the famed Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas earlier this year, it has been revealed.

The corporation today published the full list of salaries and expenses drawn by 107 senior BBC managers in an effort to foster greater transparency to licence fee payers.

Thompson stayed at the Las Vegas hotel, made famous in Hollywood movie Ocean's Eleven, on January 8 this year. On the preceding day, he spent 266.25 on a night at The Westin Bellevue in Washington. The director general further accrued a bill of 253.48 making "urgent business calls" from a hotel on January 10.

In the second quarter of this year - April to June - Thompson racked up 3,364 of expenses, including 731.10 on a return flight to Sweden. He spent around 90 using parking meters during the three months and 145 taking mini-cabs.

BBC director of future, media and technology Eric Huggers also spent two nights at the Bellagio, albeit at a cheaper room rate amounting to 722.06. Huggers further claimed for two nights at the Westin at a total cost of 609.22 and spent 469.79 on a hotel room in Barcelona on February 16.

Meanwhile, BBC director of Vision Jana Bennett, who earns a total salary package of 515,000, spent 102.76 on a single mini-cab trip in May, as part of the 513.33 she spent on taxi rides in just two months.

BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who spent 151.46 on two mini-cab trips on May 13, said: "Today's quarterly disclosure is a significant move for the BBC in our continued commitment to achieving ever greater openness and transparency to the public who pay for the BBC.

"Today's launch is a direct response to the public who have indicated that they would like more information about how the BBC is run in a way which marks a step change in openness, simplicity and accountability. We are meeting the spirit as well as the letter of the law."

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